The day of Ye Bai’s exhibition finally dawns in this episode of The Journey from Tonight is White, and Wei Jia continues to try to stir up trouble. But the biggest source of trouble on this biggest day of Ye Bai’s life is from an unexpected source: a true blast from Ye Bai’s past.
Huai An eavesdrops as You Yan and Ye Bai look at a photo of Botticelli’s The Calumny of Apelles. She appreciates You Yan’s eye for art and knowledge of art history, noting that although she’s not an artist, You Yan has definitely learned a lot about art from her mother. This gives her an idea.
She reveals herself to You Yan and Ye Bai and asks if they’re together. They avoid answering her question, but they don’t need to — she already knows. And she doesn’t mind, because what she asks next is if You Yan can help her with planning Ye Bai’s exhibition. Huai An is swamped with gallery business, and You Yan has the perfect skill set for helping out: she knows French, knows art, and knows what Ye Bai wants.
You Yan impresses Huai An with how much she’s able to accomplish in a day and Huai An treats them to dinner.
The next day, Shan Shan and You Yan visit Xiao Cong at work. Shan Shan teases You Yan about talking out loud to Ye Bai in her dreams, but the three soon switch to the more serious topic of worrying about what to do after graduation. They promise to live together even after graduation.
Posters for Ye Bai’s exhibition, titled “Hope,” have spawned on campus. Some students chat about the exhibition. Some people are surprised by his shamelessness at holding a solo exhibition when his award is being questioned, but others think that the doubts about his award are just a publicity stunt and he’s riding the wave to make this exhibition so big. All agree that if this exhibition is a success, he’ll be even bigger than before.
Ye Bai paints at home and has come up with a new method of trying to recognize color. He sniffs his paint, trying to recognize each color by smell.
You Yan runs into Ye Bai’s father in front of Ye Bai’s building. He asks to speak with her. They chat over coffee, and Ye Bai’s father tells You Yan that he’s heard all about the upcoming exhibition. He asks how Ye Bai is doing, then starts telling You Yan how he doesn’t understand why Ye Bai refuses all his help. You Yan gently but honestly says that Ye Bai’s color-blindness is related to trauma from his childhood, and his father is one of those traumas. She suggests that for him to make an appearance now might harm Ye Bai more than help him. He should give Ye Bai some time.
Ye Bai’s father takes in You Yan’s words and agrees with her. He asks if he can check-in with her in the future, just to see how Ye Bai is doing, and You Yan agrees.
The day of Ye Bai’s exhibition dawns and the gallery is full of people here to view his works and his live painting. You Yan tries to help Ye Bai prep before his live painting show, but he doesn’t correctly identify any of the colors that he sniffs.
Wei Jia arrives at the art gallery with media in tow, causing a commotion. Huai An doesn’t want any media present, and goes to confront Wei Jia, but is unable to come up with a good reason for denying the media entry other than that she doesn’t want them to. The commotion draws Zi Jian’s attention, who comes over and asks his sister what she’s doing. But Ye Bai has heard everything and tells Huai An to let the media in.
Wei Jia holds Huai An back after everyone enters the gallery and tells her that she hasn’t been pleased with her performance so far. She warns Huai An to remember the contract — the fines for breaking it are not something Huai An can afford.
Everyone watches at Ye Bai starts getting ready for his live painting show. He has eyes only for You Yan though, who smiles encouragingly and reminds him of their earlier conversation in which she tells him to not worry too much and to not put too much pressure on himself.
He starts to paint, but the media’s camera flashes trigger him and he suddenly staggers, his head spinning. Wei Jia looks smug while You Yan dashes to Ye Bai’s side and Huai An angrily demands that the photographers stop using flash photography.
You Yan calmly comforts Ye Bai and tells him not to panic. Her words remind him of a moment with Chi Zheng when he was younger. Chi Zheng told him that his style was very unique, and that he should continue to draw in his style and basically not be put down by the haters. The memory gives him fresh encouragement to continue on with his painting and not be defeated by the situation. He won’t let Chi Zheng down.
Ye Bai starts painting and everyone watches. There’s a lot of dramatic music, close-ups of people’s analytical expressions, and cuts to various people (French art critics speaking in French, professors speaking in Chinese) analyzing what Ye Bai is doing.
The finished product is a largely monochromatic landscape. The only color is a hint of red and gold rising up out of the horizon, representing “hope” as the French expert says. Everyone applauds Ye Bai’s work, and Huai An asks Ye Bai to say a few words.
Ye Bai thanks everyone for coming, but says that there is one person in particular he is especially thankful for. He looks at You Yan. Without her, he would not be standing here today, and he would like to give this painting to her. That person is…
And at that moment, a female voice calls out Ye Bai’s name and launches herself at Ye Bai, causing a second commotion at the event. She clutches Ye Bai’s arm and says she knows that Ye Bai was talking about her. After all, she’s Ye Bai’s fiancée. Everyone looks stunned. Ye Bai frees his arm from the girl’s grasp and drags her off to talk while Huai An tries to salvage the moment.
No one seems to know who the girl is, but then Zi Yan admits that he knows who she is. Her name is Gong Zhe Jing, and she’s Ye Bai’s childhood friend. Her family operates a judo club and her grandfather is a very well-known judo master in the Northeast. Ye Bai grew up going to the judo club and is one of her grandfather’s last disciples. They grew up together, but as far as Zi Yan knows, Ye Bai has always treated Zhe Jing as a younger sister.
Meanwhile, Zhe Jing is busy trying to cuddle up to Ye Bai. She recently returned from studying abroad and asks him if he missed her (she’s missed him!) She goes in for a hug only to be stopped by a palm to the forehead. Ye Bai says that she’s grown up now, so why is she still acting like a child? This was a very important moment for him and she can’t just joke around about being his fiancée like that. But in her mind, Zhe Jing isn’t joking. She reminds him of her childhood birthday many years ago where she wished to marry Ye Bai one day, and her grandfather said that he would grant her this wish once she got older. Zhe Jing says she knows that Ye Bai doesn’t have a girlfriend, and came back to China this time just to marry him.
Ye Bai stops her. He does have a girlfriend, he tells her, and he’s not lying. But this doesn’t deter Zhe Jing. She says that girlfriends are temporary, but she is his only fiancée. She generously gives them as much time as they need.
Ye Bai makes it clear that he and You Yan have a very good relationship and that she is temporary as a girlfriend — because he plans on making her his fiancée. Zhe Jing pouts at this, and grabs his arm right as You Yan, Shan Shan, and Zi Yan walk in.
Zhe Jing seems scornful of You Yan, but You Yan acts like the bigger person and maturely introduces herself to Zhe Jing, then invites her out to eat with them. Zhe Jing acts like You Yan is being fake and supercilious, but ends up making herself just look bad. She fakes a stomachache, which everyone can tell is fake. You Yan rolls her eyes, but benevolently tells Ye Bai that he should go take care Zhe Jing to the hospital and meet up with them later.
Huai An shows up and disapproves of Ye Bai disappearing from a celebration for him on such a big day and gives Zhe Jing some side-eye while she’s at it, but Ye Bai says he’s not used to these kinds of big events anyway, and You Yan encourages him to go with Zhe Jing.
Zhe Jing says she doesn’t want to go to the hospital and instead gets Ye Bai to go looking for a hotel with her. But none of the hotels they look at are good enough for her. Finally, Ye Bai mentions that there’s a five star hotel near his apartment, but he’ll only pay for three days of her stay. She perks up at this — how about she just stay with him?
You Yan, Zi Yan, and Shan Shan go to Xiao Cong’s cafe. They commend her for behaving so maturely in front of Zhe Jing, but You Yan admits that she was freaking out inside. She’s worried that she might have been too passive aggressive toward Zhe Jing, but Shan Shan says that she thought she was too nice. Zi Yan and Shan Shan both comment on how fake Zhe Jing was being with her stomachache, and You Yan admits that she knew Zhe Jing was faking it, but she played along with it because she was worried about causing a big scene on such an important day for Ye Bai.
Shan Shan asks You Yan if she wants to call Ye Bai for an update, but You Yan shakes her head. She trusts that Ye Bai will contact her once he’s done dealing with Zhe Jing, but she proceeds to stare lasers at her phone.
That night, Ye Bai still hasn’t called, so You Yan decides to call him. The call suddenly goes to voicemail after just a few rings. In a stunned voice, You Yan reports to Shan Shan that she was just hung up on by Ye Bai.
Just when I thought this drama couldn’t kill me more, it has. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, but I am dying from all that has happening. First of all, I find Gong Zhe Jing to be more hilarious than anything (so far). She’s so petulant and acts like a child, and everyone treats her like a child. I don’t find her to be a threat to You Yan and Ye Bai’s relationship, but I think she will be a fun little obstacle who forces them to really figure out how they feel about each other and how much they trust each other. It’s easy to say that they’ll always be there for each other when there are no real conflicts in the way, but I’m sure Zhe Jing will be a little more persistent than your usual conflict.
Zhe Jing’s presence is also fun because I feel like we’ll really see where people’s loyalties lie. I have a strong feeling it will be everyone versus Zhe Jing. Already we can see Huai An is annoyed by Zhe Jing, and I am pretty sure Huai An is on Team You Yan. After all, she entrusted You Yan with work for the gallery and knows how important You Yan is to Ye Bai’s artistic vision and future success. She wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of that.
Wei Jia has reached a new level of smugness in this episode (her face when Ye Bai started having a breakdown in front of all the media!), but she is quickly becoming a non-factor when it comes to trying to take down Ye Bai. If anything, she’s sabotaging her own relationship with Zi Jian more than she’s harming Ye Bai.
With this episode, The Journey from Tonight is White heads deeper into a classic drama plot, but I like what we get out of it. I really like that You Yan is the kind of person who can be the bigger person in the face of adversity, but who in private with her friends freaks out just as much as the rest of us. She’s still a bit too perfect of a person, but she’s also still relatable (not like those inhuman angels that Yang Yang and Zheng Shuang played in A Smile is Beautiful).
Fingers crossed that Zhe Jing keeps being fun without being annoying!